Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., announced on Monday that he is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, while saying he plans to continue representing Florida during the fight.
“I was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and in the midst of this traumatizing news, I found myself wondering not only if I would survive this disease, but also if it would impact my ability to perform my duties,” the Democratic lawmaker said in a statement. “Now that I have begun treatment, I feel hopeful about survival and about my ability to continue serving my constituents of Florida’s 20th Congressional district and the nation. “
Hastings added: “I have been convinced that this is a battle worth fighting, and my life is defined by fighting battles worth fighting. Should it become clear that this cancer which has invaded my body cannot be defeated, I will tell you so.”
Following former Sen. Bill Nelson’s departure from office following his defeat to Republican Rick Scott in the midterm elections, Hastings has become the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation. He first took office in 1993.
Hastings has also faced various controversies during his career in Washington.
In 2017, it was reported that the Treasury Department paid a former congressional staffer $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against Hastings. The staffer, Winsome Packer, alleged that Hastings touched her inappropriately and made unwanted sexual advances.
The House Ethics Committee conducted a separate investigation into Hastings, which it closed in December 2014. The committee concluded that Hastings "did admit to certain conduct that was less than professional," but the most serious charges against him "were not supported by evidence."
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.